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FREE DOWNLOAD é Awakenings ì Awakenings is a 1973 non fiction book by Oliver Sacks It recounts the life histories of those who had been victims of the 1920s encephalitis lethargica epidemic Sacks chronicles his efforts in the late 1960s to help these patients at the Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx New YorkWho had been victims of the 1920s encephalitis lethargica epidemic Sacks chronicles his effo. Eh this book was somewhat of a let down I thought There is a marvelous story here but this book couldn't decide if it wanted to be a clinical write up of these patients or appeal to the masses It tried to walk the line between the two and failed Just as I would get into the story about a patient a bunch of medical terms about their condition would pop up I'd have NO clue what they meant and the enchantment would end Three stars for the effort and because the substance is pretty amazing

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Awakenings is a 1973 non fiction book by Oliver Sacks It recounts the life histories of those. The crux of the book is the work Sacks began in the mid 1960s with dozens of post encephalitic patients at Bronx's Beth Abraham hospital then called the Bronx Home for Incurables and disguised here as Mount Carmel These patients were infected in 1918 by the encephalitis lethargica virus or sleepy sickness Not to be confused with the worldwide influenza pandemic of that same year Those who survived were able afterwards to lead normal lives for years and sometimes decades until they were stricken with Parkinson's disease like symptoms locked and rigid postures that turned them into living statuary akinesia hurrying gait festination frozen skewed gaze oculogyyric crises and so on These patients did not have Parkinson's disease proper but because the encephalitis reduced the neurotransmitter dopamine in the part of their brain known as the substantia nigra they experienced identical if somewhat severe symptoms than actual Parkinson's patients They were to become know as post encephaliticsIn 1969 L DOPA's cost came down sufficiently that Dr Sacks began to prescribe it for his post encephalitic patients The results were at once miraculous and disastrous In a matter of weeks sometimes overnight Sacks's patients were awakened from what for many had been decades of immobility incommunicability and dependence on high levels of nursing care Suddenly these frozen figures were walking and talking their personalities in hiatus for so long perfectly preserved Dr Sacks reviews the cases here of 20 such patients from their often sudden awakening to the onset and growing severity of side effects Awakenings is in the final analysis a tragedy Few of Sacks patients could tolerate the long term effects of L DOPA Not a few regretted ever being treated with it For a handful it provided a vastly improved uality of life They became social again needed far less nursing care but the effects of the drug were highly unstable In an appendix added to the 1990 edition Sacks and a colleague analyze patient responses to L DOPA using the then emerging discipline of chaos theory This appears only in the 1990 edition since the discipline did not exist when Sacks and his patients began their trials of the levodopa in '69 Dr Sacks never met a footnote he didn't love The book is chockful of them Those too long to fit alongside the text are included as appendices Ninety five percent of them seem to me indispensable Sacks is a great thinker of immense erudition who possesses a highly readable prose style The primary text provides straightforward exposition but when read in conjunction with the footnotes where much of the real meat of the book resides it can at times take on an almost fiction like discursivenessOf Sacks's dozen or so books I've read all but three Awakenings is his magnum opus his manifesto and policy declaration In it he lays out his positions on the then current neurology of the day Awakenings was first published in 1973 which he lambastes as coldly empirical and lacking a complementary metaphysical component In America and no doubt much of the West these were the last years of the Physician as God There was little public knowledge of medicine then unlike today and the doctor's role in a crisis was usually unuestioned Today second opinions are sought with regularity integrative approaches to healing readily embraced and there is a vast industry based on purveying medical knowledge to the general public You can see this great change perhaps best in the way pharmaceutical companies now advertise directly to the public in a way they never did during the Awakenings period Sacks is here an articulate proponent for a human less coldly analytical medicine and his endorsement for such an approach which includes close interpersonal relationships with patients is a clarion call Fascinating meticulous and highly recommendedOne appendix is devo

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AwakeningsRts in the late 1960s to help these patients at the Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx New Yo. This was the first of Sacks's books I read and I had never read anything like it The discovery that a chemical could bring 'frozen' people to consciousness again after an apparent sleep of years was mind blowing to read about and literally mind blowing for some of those who emerged for a time from the effects of their meningitis and then sank out of consciousness again Sacks recorded the process as a scientist and a man who is deeply concerned about the human condition and for his patients as peopleIt's a long book but this is necessary to tell the stories of the group who trialled lDopa with the insight and compassion Sacks gives themFor me the film came nowhere near the real meaning of the book because it only told the story of a very few patients and focused on one This made for human drama but lost the scale of the double tragedy